A lot has changed for Diamond Rings - the stage name for John O'Reagan's electro-pop creation - since the 2010 release of his first album Special Affections. Initially signed to Montreal's Secret City Records, John-O Was scooped up by EMI's Astralwerks and has been garnering some much deserved attention.
"Hello? Oh, hi...hi, so sorry to keep you waiting" says the dulcet, mellow, and refreshingly polite, tones coming through the crackly phone. I've been waiting 45 minutes to speak to him, but by the sound of his voice, James Mercer, 41, has been enjoying himself and I can't hold it against him. It's one of his days off in between shows and he's been riding bikes, and drinking wine, around the city of Roskilde, soaking up the sun and enjoying doing the festival rounds.
The files are in and we are now 10 days away from seeing issue number 80 hit the streets. To celebrate, we thought that we would give you a sneak peek at the guy who will be gracing our cover. Of course we are not going to show you his face, but if you can guess who it is you will win...nothing really, other than the awe of the ION team for your back-of-head recognition skills. Hint: it's simple.
Vancouver songwriter Christopher Smith has announced his sophomore full-length, Earning Keep, the follow up to his 2010 debut, The Beckon Call. The song "Pillars and Pyre" is the first single off of the album and we are very proud to have the Canadian exclusive of the video. Earning Keep finds Smith expanding upon his musical palette with more diverse instrumentation and expansive atmospherics.
Listen to Jeremy Glenn's soft and über cool eighties inspired beats, and it's hard not to close your eyes and imagine yourself on a summer soaked euro-beach, sunglasses on, partying away with the coolest and most beautiful people you've ever met.